• Don’t miss Free Fridays

    One of our most popular features is "Free stuff Fridays" when we give away all sorts of garden things from books to seeds to garden gadgets.
    Join the fun every Friday.

  • Grow food not lawns

    As commercial growers pump out more bland, backyard gardeners are getting good at growing their own. Find out about edibles, including chickens here

  • An eye for design

    Plants, rocks and pots are all good. It's how you put them together that counts. Check out our design posts for an eyeful of ideas

November 21, 2014

Free Book Friday!

While the rest of the country shivers, and digs out of snowbanks, California has an easy week but is still in a long-term drought.

To bring some green to the eyes of all gardeners, and inspiration to those who dig in dry climates, let’s visit a delightful lawn replacement by the celebrated designer, Rebecca Sweet. The mix of color, texture and form is masterful.

Win Rebecca’s info-packed, new book, Refresh Your Garden Design, by telling us in the comments which part of your garden needs a makeover. We’ll announce the winner (randomly chosen, of course) in the next Friday of Dirt du jour.

Now, for the winners of last week’s daffy note cubes from First Daffodils—congrats to Peggy and Ivonne!

We have one MORE winner too—the lucky person who gets a copy of In with the Old: Classic Decor from A to Z (by the Peak of Chic blogger) is … Cory!



November 14, 2014

Free Daffodil Friday!

Did you buy your daffodil bulbs yet? Win the perfect note cube for making lists of which daffs you want. Brought to you by First Daffodils, the refreshing blog and Facebook page with photos from winter-weary gardeners all over the world who snap away when they see the first daffs emerge.

First Daffodils is donating two note cubes for our readers. Just leave a comment telling us why you love daffodils! We’ll select two winners at random, and announce them next Friday.

Ready for my own daffodil tips? Tune in to hear me (Charlotte) on a new radio show, Saturday, November 15 at 11 a.m. EST. I’ll be delving into daffs during The Master Gardener Hour, hosted by Kate Copsey on America’s Web Radio (podcast too).

Catch my daffy opinions anytime at my bulbous blog, Daffodil Planter.



November 6, 2014

When nature takes back

See what happens when nature - when left alone - takes back what once belonged (briefly) to people. Pretty and eerie at the same time.

The planet always wins.

Vox—Ferns communities talk, then determine who is who sex-wise


October 22, 2014

Feed me Seymour!

If you’re thinking you might as well take the winter off where you live, get one thing done before you take your break. Planting a cover crop in your vegetable garden feeds the soil, loosens the structure and provides organic materials when you dig it under in spring.

You’ll be ready to plant in a super-duper enriched environment.

It’s as easy as sprinkling seed. Mother Earth News has the long-form how-to.

TwinCities.com—Public smackdown for gardener sprucing vacant lot


October 21, 2014

Because the birds don’t hunker down

Fall might look a little dull to a hummingbird. What, with the blossoms gone and nectar sources scarce.

Kennedy Glass Studios has been making these beautiful nectar feeders for four years.

Wall Street Journal —Big problem in English garden community: Spiking snails over the fence.


October 16, 2014

Fall color for warm climates

A lot of us mistakenly believe that fall color has something to do with climate. But that is only partially true.

Deciduous plants change leaf color in preparation for cold weather, but only because the days are growing shorter. Short days are what trigger the change.

You got to plant it, to get it. Here are eight plants that color up nicely in warm climates:

Crape Myrtle
Japanese Birch
Honey Locust

Local8Now —Tennessee women gets the slammer for sloppy yard


October 13, 2014

Christopher Columbus’s plant discoveries

Yeah there were the new worlds and all that to be explored, but then there were the plants. The Columbian Exchange is named for the first mass exchange of materials from continent to continent.

The old world shared horses, chickens and smallpox with the Americas.

The Americas gave up the good stuff: vanilla, chocolate and strawberries.

LATimes: Stealing plants and lawn statues for a cause: frat parties


October 8, 2014

Five fun pumpkin facts

1. Most pumpkins are not true pumpkins, but kinds of squash

2. In fact, pumpkin pie filling is typically squash mixes that include Butternut, Hubbard or Boston Marrow

3. Pumpkins have been grown in North America for five thousand years

4. The Jack O’ Lantern originated in Ireland in the form of turnips

5. Not all pumpkins work for pumpkin recipes. For cooking try Baby Bear, Cinderella, Fairytale and Sugar Pie

Central Florida Future: Your Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte? No pumpkin in the ingredient list.